Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is an online, transparent scoring and rating process which aims to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out and through these choices, encourage businesses to improve their hygiene standards and thus reduce the incidence of food-borne illness.
It is a voluntary scheme applicable to food businesses supplying food directly to consumers either on or off the premises and food businesses are rated on the basis of food hygiene and safety conditions found at the time of inspection.
The scheme is implemented by The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Current mandatory requirements
- Qualified FBOs need to have FSSAI License/ Registration and follow schedule 4 requirements. This aims to provide for adequate measures that are to be adopted to ensure that food being served to the consumers is of good quality and safe to eat.
- Train all food handlers and appoint a certified Food Safety Supervisors. Access FSS training portal "FOSTAC" to get more information.
- Must have Food Safety Display Boards prominently displayed in the premises.
- Get food samples tested periodically.
Need for the scheme
A roll out of hygiene ratings will not only be for the good of all consumers, but will also be instrumental in changing perceptions of Indian Food sector across the globe. It can increase investor confidence in the regulatory environment and hence attract more funding in this sector. By creating awareness amongst the consumers and food business owners (FBO), it will improve quality of food supply and increase demand as well. Both, size of pie and share for all food players will expand.
Many avoidable illnesses due to food and water contamination will be contained, creating great economic value due to less downtime of the workforce and reduced hospital bills.
The rating scheme
The ratings system will be implemented in 2 parts:
- Hygiene ratings - which will score and rate the FBO on meeting basic requirements ensuring good hygiene practices for all processes including handling raw material, maintaining clean premises, storing food etc. The ratings will score FBO based on self-assessment questionnaire for compliance with
food hygiene and safety procedures and structural requirements followed by the verification of the hygiene rating by physical inspection and validation by the state FDAs. The hygiene rating will be from (0 up to 5) as per the level of compliance.
- Hygiene ratings + (Also known as "Responsible place to eat") - Hygiene rating of 4/5 and the compliance of voluntary conditions to be adopted by FBO will rate the FBO as Right Place to Eat. Its compliance will enhance the FBO's scope and responsibility towards providing safe and nutritious food to a larger community. They will be motivated to taking care of their employees, the underprivileged and also serving the customer beyond the mandatory, by making them aware of healthy choices and giving them access to such options.
Type of Food Businesses Included in Hygiene Rating Scheme
The food establishments falling under this scheme will include: All food establishments that supply food prepared / cooked / served outside of homes, directly to consumers for consumption on or off the premises. Currently, this scheme is being launched for Catering Sector.
How to enrol in Hygiene Ratings Scheme
Prior to enrolling for this scheme FBOs should ensure that they fulfill the following steps
- FBOs need to have FSSAI License/ Registration and follow Schedule 4 requirements.
- Appoint a certified Food Safety Supervisors and Train all food handlers
- Must have Food Safety Display Boards (FSDBs) prominently displayed in the premises
- Get food samples tested periodically from any FSSAI approved Lab
- Log in using your Food Licensing & Registration System (FLRS) credentials at: www.fssai.gov.in/hygieneRating/login
- Follow Guidelines and complete self-assessment
- Generate "hygiene rating" or enroll for "Responsible place to eat"
- Print self-assessment ratings certificate online.
- Verification of ratings will be done by a FSO (Food Safety officer " from FSSAI, through an inspection.
- Post Inspection, FBO can generate the verified(signed) rating certificate.
- Enroll for "Responsible place to eat" if above ratings score is 4 (Good ) or more.
Source : FSSAI